Half of employees feel that their skills are under-utilised and 10% have taken up new positions that do not make the most of their skills as a result of the recession, according to research by recruitment and HR services company Randstad.
However, the report also found that 23% of staff had up-skilled during the last 18 months as many organisations had put a freeze on new hires.
In addition, the employers surveyed had a mismatched view of what issues were most important to their staff.
Workers ranked the most important factors in their choice of employer as the level of remuneration, training and development, a good career path and flexible working conditions.
In comparison, employers ranked the main factors driving staff to remain at their company as its brand, culture and the benefits package offered.
With a quarter of those employees who are not actively looking for a new job admitting that they would consider changing employers if something attractive came up, Randstad warned that companies “risk losing talented people” if they do not address the “gulf in understanding”.
Brian Wilkinson, head of Randstad UK, said: “For many organisations it will be a fine balancing act between investing to hold on to key staff and minimising the overall labour cost by building in more flexible strategies.
“While organisations are focusing on managing the realities of today, they must not lose sight of the long-term trends which point towards skill shortages, particularly as the number of people of working age declines and the population ages.”
The World of Work report 2010 was compiled using data from several studies by Randstad, including the Workmonitor Mobility Index which surveyed 800 workers in the UK.